Magazine Summer 2003
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
• • • .
Dr. Chris Maggio, '85, '91
Director Alumni Affairs
Fellow Northwestern Graduates and Friends:
As we wind down yet another successful semester at our alma mater, I
would like to reflect on something positive that I have seen while traveling
the roads promoting NSU, and that is school spirit. Annually, the Alumni
Association hosts many events on campus and in several towns and cities.
It is so pleasing to see the surge in participation, volunteerism and
willingness to promote NSU.
At our Northwestern gatherings in your communities across the state and
region, attendance at events has grown substantially. A prime example of
this enthusiasm is at a recent crawfish boil in Piano, Texas. First of all,
NSU alumni David and Kim Wright graciously hosted the event in their
home and approximately 80-100 alumni attended the event. Attendees
varied in age from recent graduates to folks who attended NSU in the
1950's. One thing that was obvious and consistent was that everyone had a
genuine love for Northwestern.
Many conversations began similarly with "Well, when I was a student at
NSU...". Smiles grew across faces as people reminisced about the
brickshack, the Fieldhouse, Caldwell Hall, Saturday nights in Turpin
Stadium, etc. You could feel a "common thread" that wove through all of
us, and that thread was purple and white. You could feel the pride swell
through all, and when we all left the event that night our love for NSU had
grown even more. I cite this one example, but could relate to you many
more at events throughout the year.
Level of participation within the Alumni Association varies among
individuals, but one thing that I know to be true is that we, proud NSU
alumni, can make a difference. We can continue to elevate our great
university to higher heights. Stay involved with NSU, spread the positive
word of our alma mater's continued success, and show everyone that you
have a strong school spirit...
About the cover: Sonny Carter posed for NSU
Photographer, Gary Hardamon. Pictured is his
Web site sonc.com.
Official Publication of Northwestern
Organized in 1884
A member of CASE
Volume XIII Number 2 Summer 2003
The Alumni Columns (USPS 015480) is published
4 times a year by Northwestern State University.
Natchitoches, Louisiana, 71497-0002 Periodicals
Postage Paid at Natchitoches, La., and at
additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send
address changes to the Alumni Columns
Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, La.
Alumni Office Phone: 318-357-4414
NSU ALUMNI OFFICERS
President Dr. B.L. Shaw
Shreveport, 1955, 1960
Vice President Jimmy Williams
Secretary-Treasurer Mike Sawrie
Executive Director. Dr. Chris Maggio
Natchitoches, 1985, 1991
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Dane Broussard Houston.Texas 1986
Jerry Brungart.... Natchitoches, 1969, 1971
Tommy Chester Arcadia, 1969
Joe Cunningham, Jr. ...Natchitoches, 1984
Leonard Endris Shreveport, 1974, 1975
F. Allen Horton Jr.. .New Iberia, 1957,1962
Adrian Howard Arlington, Texas, 1989
Carlos Jones Ruston, 1993
Gail Jones Natchez, 1981, 1998
Matt Koury. Leesville, 1995
Bryant Lewis Haynesville, 1958
Carroll Long Tyler, Texas, 1970
David Morgan Austin, Texas, 1973
K. Michael Sawrie Alexandria, 1972
Dr. B.L. Shaw Shreveport, 1955, 1960
Glenn TalbertA Shreveport, 1964
Ginger Wiggins Jackson, Miss., 1986
Jimmy Williams Winnfield, 1993
Greg Comeaux Lafayette
The Alumni Columns is published in
spring, summer, fall and winter.
Dr. Chris Maggio, 1985, 1991
Jennifer Wilbanks Anderson, 1997
Ericca Reynolds, 2000
Beth Mann, 1975
NSU Press Publications Office
Northwestern State University is accredited by the Commis-
sion on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and
Schools ( 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097:
Telephone number 404-679-4501) to award Associate, Bac-
calaureate, Master's, Specialist and Doctorate degrees.
It is the policy of Northwestern State University of Louisi-
ana not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion,
sex, national origin, age, or disability in its educational pro-
grams, activities or employment practices.
Alumni personal Web sites are a
favorite way to communicate
Communication today is faster than ever before. Now
more and more people are finding and reuniting with lost
friends and family thanks to the internet.
Many NSU alumni have found that having a presence
on the World Wide Web benefits their careers, hobbies and
personal lives. Four alumni tell us the advantages of their
personal Web sites.
Tait Martin, a 1997 graduate, mixes business with
fun for the visitors of his Web site. Martin, is an
instructor at Florida State University as well as a
motivational speaker, finds his site, taitmartin.com, a
central location to keep up with his students, clients and
"The Web is by far the easiest way to keep up with
friends," said Martin. "Not only can they read what I've
been up to, they can look at the pictures. The site
originally began as a way for me to keep up with clients
for my speaking and consulting business, but the focus
has since changed. While I still have sections
specifically for clients, I also have sections devoted to
my students, travels, and friends. As far as keeping it
up, I try to add something new once a month."
Martin's site is a reference for his students with
links to communication theory, helpful publications and
class syllabi. But this doesn't leave the site with a
serious tone. You can find communication exercises and
ice breakers in his "Brain Bubble" section or be amused
by his travel antics in the "Crazy T-Shirt" tour. You can
also view some of the works of art, a newfound hobby
since he graduated from Northwestern.
One of the biggest advantages of his site is the
connection with his NSU past.
"Surprisingly, taitmartin.com has become an
incredible tool for keeping up with folks from NSU, "
Martin said. "I have gotten hundreds of e-mails from
faculty and friends who were at NSU while I was a
Alumni Columns Summer 2003 / 1
Alumni personal Web siti
Madeline Buchanan, a 1969 graduate, also enjoys the benefits of
having a personal Web site with mlbuchanan.com. On this site she
not only keeps education information for teachers and students, but
she also posts her favorite Louisiana praline recipe and pictures from
Buchanan's favorite area of the site is her trips to Australia, New
Zealand and Iceland. She will be adding vacations to Scandinavian
countries and Russia, where she and her husband will travel this
Buchanan, a Natchitoches native who now lives in Birmingham,
Ala., retired from her job as a librarian this spring and plans to devote
time to expanding and adding new areas to her site.
" I would like to add more on my family," Buchanan said. " I
need to do research on my family, who was from Natchitoches, and
learn more about the Jewish community there."
Buchanan began developing Web sites in 1995. She has also
developed sites for her school and her church.
Sonny Carter's Web site,
sonc.com, was the result of a
challenge. Carter, who had
dabbled in photography for years,
has an expensive, high-quality Leica
camera. An acquaintance, realizing that Carter
owned a very expensive piece of equipment encouraged
Carter and others to build a site displaying a "picture of the
week." This way, he could prove that he was "worthy of that
Carter's two-year-old site is a gallery of his documentary
photography. Along with galleries of his pictures of the week, he
has a Mardi Gras gallery. His son, Adam, is a frequent subject.
The site receives approximately 8,000 to 14,000 visits every
"Photography and the Web site are gratifying and
fun, " Carter said. "I like the site because it
is non-commercial so I
can do what I want.
Nobody's dictating what I have to take pictures of.
Chance dictates what my next picture will be."
Carter is a digital conservationist in the Cammie
Henry Research Center at the Watson Library on NSU
campus. On his off time you will see his camera
serving as his favorite accessory.
"I take my camera just about everywhere," he said.
Alumni Columns Summer 2003 / 2
ire a favorite way to communicate
Wrestling fans will enjoy visiting imfiredup.com to read about
graduate Deven "Aleece" McNair. McNair, a theatre graduate, is also
known as "Fire" in the wrestling arena.
She began training as a female wrestler after a two-year period as a
stuntwoman in Japan. Now she travels throughout the United States as
well as in Canada and Mexico performing wrestling matches during
which she is known for throwing Mardi Gras beads, never cheating and
red streaks in her hair.
"Young girls are really into it," said McNair. "There aren't many
female wrestlers, so they really enjoy it."
On McNair's site you can find upcoming performances and
photos of Fire with friends, family and celebrities. You can also
send her a message in her guest book. The site is how she books
most of her shows.
"Almost all of my work has been booked because of my Web
site," she said. "It's how I have gotten all of my work. Since I
work internationally, they can get information from my site
instead of having to send the information."
McNair, who is a schoolteacher in Van Nuys,
Cal. during the week, is engaged
to former NSU student
Redesigned athletics Web site to be
launched August 1
The NSU Athletic Department is set to launch its new
official athletics Web site on August 1, 2003. The site
will remain at the same address (www.nsudemons.com)
but will have a new look and numerous new features.
Included on the site will be: expanded team pages with
bios, photos, statistics and records, online ticket
purchasing opportunities, Gary Hardamon's photo
gallery, promotional schedules, merchandise, fan polls,
live game broadcasts, up-to-date weather forecasts, a
"former athletes" section and much more.
"We are very excited about launching this new Web
site," Associate Athletics Director Jamie Matherne said.
"Web sites have become such a big part of collegiate
athletics and it is very important that potential student-
athletes and fans worldwide can get the most up-to-date
and expansive coverage of Demons sports as possible."
CP-Tel provides the NSU Athletic Department with its
online services and also designed the new look. Richard
Gill serves as the general manager of the company while
Luke Brouillette serves as the head Web designer,
including the design ofnsudemons.com.
"We at the NSU Athletic Department would like to thank
CP-Tel and its staff for all its hard work in putting this
new site together," NSU Athletic Director Greg Burke
said. "We truly admire our partnership and hope that it
can continue for years to come."
Alumni Columns Summer 2003/ 3
Groundbreaking for Wellness Center
An eagerly anticipated project that will have a
major impact on student life at Northwestern State
"I kept hearing SGA (Student
Government Association) presidents say they
were going to do something about the
Intramural Building, so when I had a chance
I was going to make it happen. "
— Alicia Thomas
forward at the
ceremony for its
which will replace the current Intramural Building.
Work has started on the three-floor Center
which will include free weights, cardiovascular
exercise equipment, an indoor walking track,
racquetball courts, a gym, aerobics workout area,
staff offices, a computer lab and snack bar. The
projected completion date is the fall of 2004.
Funding for the Center was provided by NSU
students who approved a $75 per semester
assessment fee in 1998.
"I kept hearing SGA (Student Government
Association) presidents say they were going to do
something about the Intramural Building, so when I
had a chance I was going to make it happen," said
former SGA President Alicia Thomas who started
groundwork for the project during her term in the
1997-98 academic year. "The
building was falling apart. I heard
the complaints. The students have
a sense of ownership in this
building. They can be proud of
what they did."
Thomas spent most of her
term gathering information on
similar projects at universities in
Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.
The decision was made to renovate
the current IM building instead of
constructing a complete new
facility to take advantage of
existing infrastructure and save
money for NSU students.
The assessment fee was
passed under the administration of
Luke Dowden, who succeeded
Thomas as president.
"The students are going to
see what they voted on in 1998,"
said Dowden, who is now the
admissions counselor for adult
learners at NSU. "They wanted to
make wellness a priority."
NSU President Dr. Randall J.
Webb credited Thomas and her
predecessors with keeping the
"I work with each SGA
president to try to accomplish one
major goal," said Webb. "This will
help Northwestern and its students
in many ways. The Wellness
Center will promote exercise and
good nutrition, which will help
those who use this facility to be
better, healthier students.
Those who have attended
Northwestern over the past four
years along with current students
can point to this facility and say
that they were the ones who took
the initiative and made it happen."
Alumni Columns Summer 2003 / 4
Building on NSU
campus named for
Northwestern State Univer-
sity formally named the adminis-
tration building on its Leesville-
Fort Polk campus for Chester
Creighton Owen. Owen, the long-
time executive director of NSU's
Leesville/Fort Polk campus, died
in November 2002.
Approximately 200 friends,
colleagues, students and family
members honored and remem-
bered Owen at a ceremony held
on the Leesville-Fort Polk cam-
pus. A memorial was also dedi-
cated in his honor.
Owen had a long, distin-
guished career as an educator in
Vernon Parish. He taught English
for many years in the school sys-
tem before serving the Vernon
Parish School Board as a guid-
ance counselor, supervisor of
instruction, director of curriculum
and superintendent of Vernon Par-
ish Schools. After retiring as su-
perintendent of schools, he was an
adjunct and graduate advisor at
NSU Leesville/Fort Polk before
becoming the campus' executive
director in 1993.
"He was an important role
model for me. Mr. Owen was my
friend and it is an honor to be part
of this ceremony," said Dr. Larry
Monk, acting executive director
of NSU's Leesville/Fort Polk
campus, who first met Owen as a
student in his English class. "He
was someone who lived life to the
fullest. All of our lives were en-
riched because he crossed our
Throughout Owen's life, be-
ing an educator was much more
than just a job to him.
"Nothing except his family
meant more than education," said
daughter Mae Ann Ledet. "He
never did anything for glory and
would get aggravated about going
to ceremonies to receive honors.
He wanted to do things for the
students and the teachers."
Ledet said Owen's secret of
success was easy to find.
"His secret to success was
his heart. All that he did came
from his heart," she said. "What
he did was because of his love for
the people around him."
Another quality which made
Owen stand out was his loyalty
Kappa, life member; Sigma Chi
Fraternity, member; Sons of
American Revolution; Vernon
Arts Council and was a Mason,
Shriner and a veteran having
served in the United States.
"I knew when he called me
there was a problem," said State
Rep. John Smith of Leesville. "He
was more tenacious and caring
about solving that problem. He
meant a great deal to me and
meant everything to this campus.
We can never replace him, but we
can always remember him."
Smith introduced a bill to
permanently name the administra-
tion building on the Leesville/Fort
Polk campus for Owen.
"Loyalty was one of the things he taught, "
said son Lt. Col. Charles Owen. "He was loyal
to a lot of things - the business of education,
the people of education, his community. He felt
very deeply about Leesville, Vernon Parish, the
state of Louisiana and his country."
As a community activist,
Owen was president of several or-
ganizations including the local
PTA, Louisiana Schools Supervi-
sors Association, Leesville/
Vernon Parish Chamber of Com-
merce (Twice), Leonidas Polk
Chapter, Association of the United
States Army, Owen was also in-
volved in organizations including
the Boy Scouts of America, the
Boys and Girls Club and the
Governor's Military Advisory
He was a charter member of
the NSU Chapter of Phi Delta
Alumni Columns Summer 2003 / 5
Book captures history of
Natchitoches Christmas Festival
The first book has been written about an annual
event intertwined with life in Natchitoches — the
Natchitoches Christmas Festival. The book, "A
Diamond Jubilee: Celebrating 75 years of the
Natchitoches Christmas Festival," was written by
Main Street manager and public
relations coordinator for the City of
Natchitoches Courtney Hornsby and
Northwestern professor of
educational technology at Dr. Ron
According to Hornsby, the idea
for the book came about when
planning for last year's festival.
"We were looking at ways to
celebrate the 75 th anniversary," said
A Diamond Jubilee
Celebrating 75 Years
of the Natchitoches
Hornsby, a NSU alumnus. "Not only did we want to
tell how the Natchitoches Christmas Festival got
started, we wanted to show how it has shaped the
community and all of the traditions that have
evolved because of the festival."
"There was such little documentation about the
festival other than occasional stories in the local
paper, at least through the '80's and prior to the
national attention," said McBride.
"Furthermore, it was the 75 lh
anniversary so the book was a
Hornsby and McBride decided to
do a history on the festival using
information they could find but also
included some interviews which they
thought would provide not only
legitimacy to the book but would add
"color and flavor" with a personal
"Many of the original planners
were deceased so we relied on
relatives such as Mrs. Solomon," said
McBride. "She provided a wealth of
first hand knowledge and has a
wonderful scrapbook about the early
Mrs. Solomon's husband, Charles
Solomon, was a city utility employee
who was known at "Mr. Christmas
Lights" for building most of the set
pieces along Cane River Lake.
The Natchitoches Christmas Festival
has been named as one of the top 100
events in North America by the America
"What makes it unique is the
Natchitoches community," said McBride.
"New York has its Macy's Parade,
Pasadena has the Rose Parade but
Natchitoches has the Christmas Festival
which is on par to those when you
consider that it is not just a one day
'happening' but actually a six-week
The book was made possible through
a grant from the Louisiana Endowment
For information about obtaining a
copy of the book, please call Hornsby at
Alumni Columns Summer 2003 / 6
standout Charlie Tolar
dies at age 65
Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame
member Charlie Tolar, a record-
shattering football star at Natchitoches
High School and an Ail-American at
Northwestern State who won All-Pro
honors with the Houston Oilers, April
28 after a brief battle with cancer. He
Tolar, whose 5-foot-6, 220-pound
frame made him a standout figure in the
old American Football League, was
voted by fans to one of two running
back slots on the Oilers' 30th
Anniversary Dream Team. Heisman
Trophy winner Earl Campbell was the
other running back elected. The team
was comprised of 25 stars from
Houston's first three decades of pro
He was inducted in the Louisiana
Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.
Tolar carried several nicknames,
including "Tank" and "The Human
Bowling Ball," throughout his playing
days. With Houston, he played with such
stars as Pro Football Hall of Fame
member George Blanda, All-Pro
receiver and fellow Northwestern State
alum Charlie Hennigan, and former LSU
Heisman Trophy winner Billy Cannon.
In the offseason, he developed a
friendship with internationally-known
oil well firefighter Red Adair, who hired
Tolar in 1962 to work alongside him
around the world.
Tolar was named to AFL All-Star
teams in 1961-1963 and was described
in the 1965 Oilers' media guide as "the
solid favorite of Houston pro football
fandom and one of the AFL's most
colorful and exciting performers ... the
bearer of more nicknames than any half-
dozen players in the league."
Tolar won back-to-back All-State
honors at Natchitoches High School and
ran for a state-record 1 ,897 yards and 23
touchdowns in his senior season. After
signing with LSU, he transferred to
Northwestern in his hometown and was
twice the Gulf States Conference "Most
Valuable Player" for the Demons.
At Northwestern, he set scoring
records for single-season points (79),
career rushing touchdowns (29) and
career rushing yards per game (75.7)
that stood for more than 40 years. He
still ranks fourth all-time at NSU in
career scoring (182 points) and eighth in
career rushing yards (2,194) while
leading the GSC in scoring and rushing
three years in a row.
Donations can be made to the
Charlie Tolar Memorial Scholarship
Fund administered by the NSU Athletic
Department. For information on
donations, contact Charlie Vienne at
(3 18) 357-4295 or at
c vienne @ nsudemons.com via e-mail.
Campbell Elected to
Louisiana State Senator Foster
Campbell was elected to the North
Louisiana seat on the state Public Service
Class of 1970, vowed
to strengthen the
commission with his
is the most important
regulatory body in
said. "It oversees rates
for electricity, water,
other utilities. It has a powerful impact on
the pocketbooks of the people and the
ability to advance and promote a better
economy. It can help people build their
businesses, succeed and promote
"My background as a businessman
and my legislative record as a consumer
advocate qualify me for the PSC."
Campbell noted that Public Service
Commission enjoys a proud history of
strong leadership. Jimmie Davis, Huey
Long and John McKeithen have held the
North Louisiana PSC seat.
"These men acted with purpose and
left a legacy of service to the people," he
said. "Today, many people don't know
who their public service commissioner is,
much less that the PSC plays a vital role
in their lives and livelihoods."
Campbell owns two insurance
agencies in Bossier City: Campbell
Insurance and Premier Insurance. He also
operates a cattle farm at Elm Grove, his
home in south Bossier Parish, and is the
father of six children ranging in age from
1 1 to 26.
Raised in Bossier City, Campbell has
a degree in business administration. He
began his professional career as a
schoolteacher in Bossier Parish public
First elected to the Senate in 1975,
Campbell was re-elected to the District 36
seat six times by the people of Bossier,
Bienville, Claiborne and Webster parishes.
Among his political accomplishments
are a three-year fight to return the state's
rural electric co-operatives to OSC rate
regulation, lowering utility rates for one
million Louisiana residents; and the 2001
passage of the new "DO Not Call"
program to restrict unwanted sales calls
the author of the
$1 billion of the
Settlement in trust
for local schools.
He modeled the
after the Bossier
revenues in the
mid-1980s. BEEF now has a balance of
"As Public Service Commissioner,"
Campbell said, "I will continue to be an
Alumni Columns Summer 2003 / 7
Carol I ("67) and Susan Long hosted Texas alumni and futur^
students with a reception in Longview.
NSU Recruiter and alumnus Jamilla Maxie ('00) poses
with hosts of the New Orleans recruiting reception Bill
Sirmon, Johnny Carmouche and Edie Sirmon.
Ricky ('85) and Julie Messina ('89) Walmsley visit
with NSU recruiter and alumnus Rocky Procell ('01 )
while hosting an alumni/recruiting reception in Covington.
Dan ('57) and Lilly Chase opened their home to future Joyce Shuele ('46) Theophile Scott ('43) and Melba
NSU students with a Baton Rouge reception. Jeane Morris C69) visited at the Shreveport alumni
reception at Savoie's.
James and Helen. ('79) Powell, hosts of the Shreveporl
recruiting reception, visit with NSU recruiter Erin Long)
Katherine Watkins Alexander ('98) and husband Mark
('96) piled their plates with crawfish at the annual
Dallas crawfish boil.
Sherry Anderson Thompson ('77), Ed Thompson
('76) met Johnette ('01) and Chris ('01) Monoghan
during the Dallas alumni gathering.
Bobby Adams ("96), Yvette Stringfield ('77) and Lance Sco
('95) met with other alumni at Barecca's in New Orleans.i
The Natchitoches Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors held their annual scholarship golf tournament
to benefit an NSU business major. Shown are Director of Alumni Affairs Chris Maggio, Jim Sandefur and
Kim Ward of the NAIF, scholarship recipient Jim Adams. Shae Perilou and David Kees of the NAIF and
Director of Instutional Advancement Tony Gustwick.
Richard Armstrong ('01), Dana LeBlanc ('02). Gam
Germillion ('99) and Clarence Matthews ('96) visited witl|
other New Orleans alumni at a Barecca's reception.
Alumni Columns Summer 2003 / 8
losts of the Leesville recruiting reception are Gene ('63 & '70) and
lartha Koury and Martha ("97) and Matt ('95) Koury.
ireveport alumni Jennifer Whitford ('92), Eve Cox ('93). Jennifer
ake ("94), Karen Spillman Miller ('92). M'Lissa Peters ('99 ). Leigh-
m Tabor ('92). Denis Deville Broadway ('93) and Cindy Cranford
srzog ('93) gathered at Savoie's for a reunion this spring.
ff ('74) and Frances Conine, hosted of the Natchitoches recruiting
eption in their home.
. and Mrs. Michael ("95) Simoneaux visited with other fellow music
icators at a reception held in conjunction with TMEA.
ttending the NSL! Basketball Reunion on February 1 5 were Jerry
yrd ("57) of Shreveport; Bill Stewart ('60) of Issaquah.
'ashington; James Stewart ('71) of Doyline, Jimmy Leach ('60)
Florien and Joe Green ('58) of Harrisonburg.
Marlene ('00) and Mike ("72) Sawrie once
again opened their home to future NSU
students by hosting a reception in Alexandria.
Velma Knowles ( '34) enjoyed reminiscing with
other Texas alumni at the Longview alumni/
Ephen('51)and Vera Macaluso and Bren
enjoyed visiting with other alumni d
reception at Barecca's in New Orleans
Lenn ("75) and Danny Prince hosted Ruston
alumni and prospective students with a
reception this spring.
Mike ('86) and Susanne Knotts Barbara and Pete ("66) Seymour visit with Gloria Martin
hosted the Bossier recruiting Hewlett ("74) and Bob Hewlett during Dallas alumni
reception this spring. gathering this spring.
, ^^^ W j ' 1
l r m
Stuart ("98) and Jennifer Aby
('97) Archer recently hosted the
Alumni/Recruiting reception m
Tim Thompson ('76). Kay Head. Roalnd Champagne ('75)
Gil Beck ('74) Pam Beck ("73). Kelle Head ('01) and Brad
Jones ( '98 1 met with other alumni at the Shreveport alumni
Alumni Columns Summer 2003 / 9
Alumni Events -
NSU alumnus on front lines of nation's public health
alumnus who has no
idea of the impact she
had on a fellow
student's career and
ultimately the nation's
graduate J. Michael
(Mike) Miller ultimately
became one of the
nation's top clinical
microbiologists, but his
career choice was
initially swayed by his
spot in the registration
"I was standing in line in the gym to register and there
was a cute red-headed girl in front of me whom heard say
she was majoring in microbiology," said Miller. "I figured
that sounded good. I liked science, but growing up in
Winnfield, I hadn't heard of microbiology."
With the background he received at Northwestern,
Miller has built a successful career and recently received
the bioMerieux-Sonnenwirth Award for leadership and
innovation in clinical microbiology, the highest national
award for a clinical microbiologist. The award is given
annually by the American Society for Microbiology,
recognizing an individual who has provided great influence
and support for the clinical microbiology profession.
Miller is the chief of the Laboratory Response Branch
of Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Program at the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
"In this position, I am responsible for ensuring that the
nation's public health laboratories are prepared and ready
for any bioterrorism incident by having in place in
Laboratory Response Network Laboratories standard
operational protocols, reagents and processes for any
potential agent of bioterrorism," said Miller.
Miller earned a bachelor's and master's degree at NSU,
a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Texas
Health Science Center in San Antonio and earned
Diplomate status in the American Board of Medical
After joining the CDC in 1976, Miller spent his first 12
years as an instructor of public health microbiology
procedures traveling around the world teaching diagnostic
microbiology. For 13 years, he was director of the WHO
collaborating center for Staphylococcus bacteriophage
typing and director of the National Kelbsiella Serotyping
Network and was founding father of the National
Laboratory Training Network. Miller has authored 83
published, peer reviewed papers, 19 book chapters, three
books and 12 CDC publications. His books are considered
standards in many laboratories around the world.
When last year's anthrax outbreak took place Miller
was one of two laboratorians sent to Washington D.C. to
work directly with environmental specimens taken from
contaminated post office sites.
"During the outbreak, more than 150,000 specimens
were submitted for sampling to laboratories throughout the
U.S.," said Miller. "I also head a group of 25 CDC
laboratory specialists who are certified in hazardous
materials procedures and who are available to go out in the
full gear that look like space suits to collect specimens for
The attention paid to the anthrax outbreak is an
example of the increased awareness of public health issues
after the Sept. 1 1, 2001 attacks on the U.S.
"The public is much more aware of public health issues
and of issues involving their own health than in the past.
We are more concerned about our health and medical
details than ever before," said Miller. "When an emergency
happens in this field of bioterrorism it is something that has
to be addressed immediately not in weeks or months."
Northwestern was the place where Miller's interest in
He was influenced by Dr. Rene Bienvenu, chairman of
the Department of Microbiology who went on to be NSU's
president, and Dr. Paul Thompson. Miller also worked
closely with graduate students Benny Barrage and Dr. Jerry
Allen, who is now a member of Northwestern's faculty.
"Benny and Jerry encouraged me and they showed me
that microbiology can be interesting, if not plain fun," he
Miller also credited Dean Leonard O. Nichols, who
was faculty sponsor of Blue Key for many years, and Dr.
Bill Shaw, who he called "the most influential of anyone on
campus" even though Shaw was not a faculty member in
his major area.
He is married to the former Norma (Ginger) Foshee of
Mansfield, who was Miss Northwestern State College in
"My time at Northwestern was, and will continue to be,
extremely important to my life choices," said Miller. "I
began to see the real world that I was about to join and in
this transition I was surrounded by terrific friends and
faculty who were interested in me.
I loved everything about this place. ..the campus, the
activities, the people, the short hike to downtown, sports,
the Baptist Student Union, ...most importantly it led me to
the one passion in my life that tops the others. ..my wife,
and eventually my family. I have learned that we are who
we are because of God and other people; and I am truly
grateful that so many of the 'other people' were there at
Alumni Columns Summer 2003 / 10
Alumni Events .
New Scholarships available for NSU students
Alumni and friends of
Northwestern State University
along with area businesses have
taken steps to ensure the
continued growth of Northwestern
by establishing scholarships
through the NSU Foundation. Ten
new scholarships have been set up
recently to benefit students at the
"We are grateful to all those
who care about Northwestern and
have been willing to help our
students gain an education," said
NSU president Dr. Randall J.
Webb. "These private
scholarships allow us to attract
and retain outstanding students
who will go on to successful
careers after earning their degrees.
Many of these recipients will
remember what generous donors
did for them and will also give
something back to the university."
The following scholarships
have been set up:
Natchitoches Association of
Insurance and Financial
Advisors Scholarship - This
annual scholarship was
established by Natchitoches area
insurance agents and financial
advisors. The recipient will be a
Business and Professional
Women Scholarship - A non-
traditional student at the
sophomore level or higher will
benefit from this scholarship
established by a Natchitoches
civic club. Preference is a
business major from Natchitoches
People's State Bank
Scholarship - This scholarship
will be awarded to a business
major preferably from
Natchitoches or Sabine parish;
Edwin B. Dyess Memorial
Endowed Scholarship - This
scholarship was set up by Billie
Dyess, Dan Dyess and Desiree
Duhon Dyess in honor of Edwin
B. Dyess. Dan Dyess is a 1977
graduate of NSU while Desiree
Duhon Dyess is a 1997 graduate
of Northwestern. The scholarship
is for entering freshmen lasting
until graduation; pre-law or
business majors from Sabine
Ellis and Melva Juanita
Martinez Coutee Endowed
Scholarship — for students at
any level of study in accounting,
mathematics or the bachelor's
program in nursing. Preference
for students from Natchitoches,
Rapides, Caddo, Bossier or
Sabine parishes or the greater
Baton Rouge area. This is the
second endowed scholarship
established by Ellis Coutee, a
1 960 graduate of Northwestern
and Melva Juanita Martinez
Coutee, a 1958 graduate.
Kenneth I. Durr Scholarship
- the endowed scholarship was set
by Dr. Kenneth I. Durr, a 1939
graduate of Louisiana State
Normal College, who also was a
faculty member in business for
several years. The preference is
for an accounting major, but a
business major may also be a
Woodmen of the World
Lodge #207 Scholarship -
Endowed scholarship awarded for
one year to a freshman.
Preference is to a recipient who
has a family member in Lodge
#207. The scholarship was set up
by a Natchitoches civic
Rader - Osborne Endowed
Scholarship - the scholarship
will be awarded to an
undergraduate or graduate student
in nursing for either one semester
of one year. Preference is given to
an out-of-state student.
Bank of Montgomery
Endowed Scholarship - The
scholarship will be given to a
freshman business major from
Natchitoches, Winn or Grant
parishes. Preference is based on
financial need and involvement in
First Federal Bank of
Louisiana Scholarship -
Business students at any level will
benefit from this scholarship set
up by this Louisiana bank with
offices in Natchitoches.
Alumni Columns Summer 2003 / 11
Three honored by CSO
Two former and one current
Northwestern faculty and staff members
will be honored by the NSU Catholic
Student Organization and Holy Cross
Church at a reception and mass on
Homecoming weekend, Oct. 25 and 26.
Dr. Marietta LeBreton, professor of
History and Mr. Walter Ledet, longtime
administrator and coach, will be
recognized as the charter members of the
Catholic Student Organization
Laypersons of the Year. Mrs. Elise
James, a former faculty member and
Director of Alumni Affairs at NSU will
be honored posthumously.
"These three individuals have been
tremendous examples of people who
have made and continue to make a
difference in the lives of countless
university students as University
employees and as parishioners of Holy
Cross Church," said Father Dan Cook.
"The Catholic Student Organization
recognizes their known and unknown
contributions to the faith life of many
Catholic students over the five years."
LeBreton, Ledet and James will be
recognized at a reception on the morning
of Homecoming, October 25 and will be
honored at the first annual Alumni Mass
at 1 1 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 26. All family,
friends, alumni students of the three
honorees are invited to attend both
For more details, contact Cook at
Holy Cross Church at 318-352-2615.
NSU vs. Tulane
Catch the Excitement
Join the Graduate "N" Club
The Northwestern State University
Graduate "N" Club is comprised of
former Northwestern athletes who
support the university, its athletes and
athletic programs. If you are a lettered
athlete and would like to become a
member of the Graduate "N" Club, -
please contact Gil Gilson at (3 1 8) 677-
3 141 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The NSU Alumni Association is sponsoring a weekend in New
Orleans for NSU alumni and friends. Spend a fabulous
weekend with other NSU fans and cheer for the Demon
football team as they play Tulane University at Tad Gormley
Stadium with a 7pm kickoff.
The Alumni Association will host a tailgate party two hours
prior to game time. Make your reservations for the tailgate
party by calling (318) 357-4414 or (888) 799-6486. Call the
NSU Ticket Office for seating in the Northwestern section at
Special rates have been set at two hotels. Rates for the
Homewood Suites are $109 per night. Rates for Le Pavilion
Hotel are $1 19 per night with a two-night minimum. Make
reservations by calling the Homewood Suites (504) 581-9133
or Le Pavilion Hotel (504) 581-31 1 1 or (800) 535-9095.
For more information call the NSU Alumni Association (3 1 8)
357.4414 or (888) 799-6486.
2003 Northwestern State
Demons Football Schedule
at Northern Iowa
Oklahoma Panhandle State (Family Day)
*at Southwest Texas State
*Nicholls State (Homecoming)
*at Sam Houston State
*at McNeese State
^Stephen F. Austin
First round, NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs
Second round, NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs
Semifinals, NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs
Championship Game, NCAA Division I-AA Playoffs
* Southland Conference games
Alumni Columns Summer 2003 / 12
Angel Vitte Huval
Most students consider getting
lost on their first day of class a pretty
good indication of more bad things
to come. This turned out to the be the
exact opposite for one NSU
alumnus. For Angel Vitte Huval, she
stumbled upon a career that has
ultimately changed her life.
Huval transferred to NSU from
the University of Southwest
Louisiana as a psychology major.
She got lost trying to find the
psychology department and ended up
walking into the social work
"I had a wonderful conversation
with Mr. Malcolm Braudaway about
my future and he said I should
consider becoming a social worker,"
said Huval. "He was so proud of
being a social worker. After we
talked, I changed my major to social
work the very next day!"
Huval says all of her professors
at NSU played a major role in her
life, teaching her how to become a
confident, competent social worker.
She also attributes the social work
curriculum for preparing her to the
handle administrative responsibilities
of a social worker and becoming a
strong advocate in the helping
"Mr. Braudaway was my role
model," said Huval. "He thought I
was very talented and his
encouragement made me want to do
my best. I think he would be very
proud that he has made such an
impression on me that how I have
accomplished so much as a social
In fact. Huval has accomplished
quite a bit since graduating from
NSU in 1994. She was the program
director for the Natchitoches
Diversion Program from 1994-1995
and she went on to earn her master's
from Grambling State University in
1995. In 1996. she began working at
St. Martin Parish School-Based
Health Centers where she is
currently a coordinator and social
worker for St. Martin Parish.
Seven years ago, Huval noticed
an increased number of students in
therapy. She decided that in addition
to having group counseling, the
students would participate in
individual and community acts of
kindness. Huval developed the
Random Acts of Kindness Project.
"I wanted them to experience the
gift of giving back to others and the
feeling of self-worth and pride," said
Huval. "After each weekly group
session, students are individually
assigned an act of kindness to
perform at school, home or in the
Each year. Random Acts of
Kindness participates in a
community project such as singing
Christmas carols at nursing homes,
making ornaments or put on a play.
This year the students sold hot
chocolate and donated the money to
the community "Neighbors in Need"
project that helps community
members financially with their
electricity and water bills.
Huval also developed her own
corporation. Youth Choices, Inc. She
says she started the corporation
because she felt students in rural
areas needed more services. Her goal
for the program is to provide youth
with education to help them
experience pride in their community
and keep them from entering the
juvenile court system.
"I offer parenting classes, youth
and adolescent anger management
classes, mentoring, teen pregnancy
support groups and a youth summer
day camp that allows students to
express themselves 'therapeutically'
through art work, crafts, outside play
and field trips." said Huval. "I also
contract with the 16 lh Judicial
District Attorney's office and other
local law enforcement agencies by
providing parenting skills and anger
Huval says the results from these
two programs are quite
"The best results to me are
watching the students have
ownership of the good deeds they
perform in their community and
watching how it shapes their own
personal lives." said Huval. "I think
this is how they get in touch with
their spirituality which in my opinion
is more important than any
therapeutic tools I can give them."
Due to her accomplishments in
social work she was the 2001
recipient of the Woodman of the
World Scholarship: 2001 recipient of
the 16 ,h Annual Career Achievement
Award; 2002 recipient of the Women
of Excellence award and most
recently she was chosen as the
Lafayette Regional Representative
for National Association of Social
"Being a social worker is the
most spiritual experience a person
can have," said Huval. "I receive so
much more than I give. I knew if I
received the education and direction
I needed, I could do great things. I
received both of those things at
NSU. I can honestly say I have
found my purpose in life."
Alunuu Columns Summer 2003 / 13
Class Notes /Profiles
Ethel M. Williams Hill was a fashion
illustrator and instructor at Dallas
Academy of Fine Arts. She lives in
Alva A. Cook is retired and lives in
Marjorie Shirley Barre' is a retired
physical therapist. She lives in Dallas.
Genevieve Marmande Wathen is a broker
associate. She lives in Dallas.
Carol Lynn Smith Sandifer is a retired
schoolteacher. She lives in west Texas.
Dr. J. Wanzer Drane has been selected as a
Fellow of the American Academy of Heath
Nell Campbell Adams retired from the
Office of Public Health as a medical social
worker. She is married and lives in West
Carroll Voyght Bradford is a retired
teacher. He is married and lives in Dentle.
Rosa Charlyne Creger is a retired
anesthetist. She lives in Shreveport.
Mary Nell Lott is employed at NSU as a
coordinator for the Space Science Group
in the College of Science & Technology.
Dr. Bettie Moore Meachum received the
Excellence (Teacher of the Year) Award
for the academic year 2002-2003 for the
Dallas County Community College
District. She has been a professor of
Psychology for 27 years at Cedar Valley
College in Dallas.
Travis Lynn Bolton is a retired auditor. He
is married and lives in Simpson.
Col. "Dick" (Donald Richard) Moore is a
retired air force pilot. He works for
American Airlines, is married and lives in
Bobby Dale Shields is the President/CEO
of University Club of Caddo Parish, Inc.
He is married and lives in Shreveport.
Ricky Swift Thomas is the owner of
Thomas & Associates Attorney Search.
He is married and lives in Piano, Texas.
Deborah Ann Whitney Cloud is employed
the Office of Family Support as a social
service analyst supervisor. She is married
and lives in Benton.
Denise Davenport Wood is an assistant
principal at Airline High School. She is
married to Ken Wood ('77) and lives in
Neda Arleen Nelms Robertson is a Title 1
Facilitator at Hornbeck High School. She
is married and lives in Hornbeck.
Brenda Cheryl Collins Bellemin is a math
department chair and teacher at Parkview
Baptist School in Baton Rouge. She is
married and lives in Port Allen.
Roscoe Lewis works at Project Associates
Inc. as a staff designer and contractor for
Shell Oil. Company. He is a justice of the
peace for the 8 lh district in Jefferson
Parish. He is married and lives in Kenner.
Cynthia Dianne Braxton Briggs is the
office manager at Legal Services of North
Louisiana. She is married and lives in
Becky Lynn Guidry Ruddell is a 4 lh grade
reading teacher for Pine Tree Independent
School District. She is married to Terry
M. Ruddell ('79) and lives in Longview.
Rebecca Faye Bryant Lavespere is a
retired teacher. She is married and lives in
Terry Mac Ruddell is a warehouse
manager for Baxter Sales. He is married
to Becky L. Ruddell ('79) and lives in
Dennis Tyler is a senior estimator
photography coordinator at Haggin
Marketing Inc. He lives in San Francisco.
Vern Guidroz is the program director for
independent living at Cane River Children
Services. She lives in Natchitoches.
Dawn Taylor Branch Tyson is an
instructional coordinator for Caddo Parish
School Board. She is married and lives in
Rhonda Nelms Ruddick is employed by
the Ouachita Parish District Attorney's
Office. She is married and lives in West
Elizabeth J. Matthews-King is a human
resource manager at Randolph Air Force
Base. She is married and lives in Schertz,
Kervin Donell Campbell is employed by
the DeSoto Parish School Board as a
teacher. He lives in Manfield.
Lori Kristine Perkins Tassin is a consultant
and branch advisor at Independent
Longaberger. She is married and lives in
William Dowers is a vice-consul and
works at the United States Embassy in
Seoul, South Korea.
Walter Brett Harris is a software engineer
at GHG Corporation. He is married and
lives in Seabrook, Texas.
Joe Brister is a medical lab technician. He
lives in Houston, Mo.
Alan Omo is the flight commander for the
21 st space wing at Peterson AFB. He is
married to Stacey Taff Omo ('92) and
lives in Monument, Colo.
Denise Dupree' Deville Broadway is an
office manager at DB Broadway
Transport, Inc. She is married and lives in
Daniel Craig Duplechien is a senior
project consultant at USC Consulting
Group. He is married and lives in New
Alumni Columns Summer 2003/ 14
Class Notes/ Profiles
Bart Stagg is a technical consultant for
Accurate Industries of Louisiana. He is
married and lives in Pineville.
April Comeaux Walker is a homemaker.
She is married and lives in Jennings.
Angel Vine Huval is a licensed clinical
social worker. She is the coordinator of all
school-based health centers in St. Martin
Parish and started her own corporation
named Youth C.H.O.I.C.E.S, Inc.. create
healthy options to help families.
F. Steven Hines is an accountant at Hines,
Jackson & Hines. He is married and lives
Martin Ryan Arthur is a rehab technology
supplier for National Seating and Mobility,
Inc. He is married and lives in Spring,
Kelley Kendall Mims is the director of
client operations at Larry Thompson
Associates. She lives in Garland, Texas.
Linda M. Rhodes is a therapist at Child
and Youth Development Center. She lives
in Jonesboro, Ark.
Rhonda Anita Rachal Carter is the co-
owner and a registered nurse at Hope
Hospice. She is married and lives in
Pam Huckaby North is the co-owner and a
RN, DON, Administrator at Hope
Hospice. She is married and lives in
Rita Kathleen Salard is a paralegal at Ford
Law Firm. She is married and lives in
Stephen Fleury is the controller and
business manager at Barron, Heinberg &
Brocato Architect & Engineers. He is
married and lives in Pineville.
Randy Morvant is the collections manager
at Tower Credit Inc. He is married and
lives in Gonzales.
Brandy Ann McConathy Pitre is a 3 rd
grade teacher and new teacher recruiter at
Wedgewood Elementary in East Baton
Rouge. She is married and lives in Baton
David Balcer is the box office manager at
American Airlines Center. He lives in
Patrick Worsham is the director of
instrumental ministries at Forest Cove
Baptist Church. He is married and lives in
Jana Lynn Whitehead is the community
services specialist and case manager at the
Office for Citizens with Developmental
Disabilities. She lives in Pineville.
Brennan Peter Mack is a pilot for Gulf
South Aviation. He lives in Kenner.
Sarah Jean Webb Carline is a veterinary
technician. She is married to Craig J.
Carline ('99) and lives in Bloomfield,
Sharon Lynn Curtis Arbaugh is a
receptionist and office assistant at S.S.
Marine & Outdoors. She is married and
lives in Benton.
Gary Humble is an associate pastor at
Harvest Christian Center. He is married
and lives in Turlock. Calif.
Scott Alan Gottreu is the Web
administrator for the Space Science Group
at NSU. He lives in Natchitoches.
Branden Delano Johnson is a qualified
mental health professional at Sabine
Valley Center MHMR. He lives in
Tricia DeAun Hrapmann is the corporate
sales manager at LePavillon Hotel in New
Orleans. She lives in Gretna.
Julie Anne Duncan works at Brentwood
Psychiatric Hospital. She lives in
Crystal Nichole Boggs Ryan is a fourth
grade teacher at Walker Intermediate
School in Fort Knox. She is married and
lives in Radcliff, Ky.
Kerry Melissa Anne Garrigan Johnson is a
graduate assistant at NSU. She is married
to Joseph Brett Johnson ('01 ) and lives in
Brett Bailey is a contract screenwriter. He
lives in Piano, Texas and Los Angeles.
Melissa Star White is currently teaching
English and coaching cheerleading at
Marksville High School.
William Eilers is an associate appraiser at
Kevin D. Hilbert and Associates. He lives
in New Orleans.
Allison Bulot is a strategic research
analyst at Atlantia Offshore Limited. She
lives in Houston.
Amber Renee Moreland is the site
coordinator for NSU Space Science. She
is married to Ronald D. Williams, Jr. ('01)
and lives in Erath.
Lindsay Lucas is an executive sales
assistant for GunnAllen Financial. She
lives in Tampa.
Sarah H. Lee Mitcham is an emergency
room RN at Christus Jasper Memorial
Hospital. She lives in Anacoco.
Thaddeus Ferrell Bailes, Leesville
Mary Ellen Cormack, Houston,
Eulava Sledge Dupree, Baton Rouge,
March 10, 2003
Marie S. Kelso, Galveston, Texas,
April 29, 2003
Cecil Owens, February 1 1 , 2003
Reba Ann Parrott, Zwolle,
February 26. 2003,
Pearl Lilley Cook Pugh,
Denton Shell, Winnfield, April 6, 2003
Doris Shell, Winnfield,
February. 10. 2003
Anna Louise Rogillio Stewart, Ruston,
Burnell Allen Webb, Coushatta,
February 7, 2003
'35 Eulava Sledge Dupree, Baton Rouge,
March 10, 2003
'35 Allen E. Hood, Chatham,
February 21, 2003
'39 Dudley W. Hillman, Lockport,
February 23, 2003
'43 Corinne Harper Blalock, Alexandria,
March 2 1 , 2003
'58 Charlie Tolar, League City, Texas,
April 28, 2003
'66 Emmett Hendricks, Natchitoches,
'03 Glen Denning DeVanie, Alexandria,
April 2, 2003
Alumni Columns Summer 2003 / 15
Tri Sigma Celebrates 75 years at Northwestern
In 1928, 24 young women began a journey of which many women would soon follow. Seventy-five
years and almost 1700 members later, the Alpha Zeta chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma celebrates a rich
tradition and heritage on Northwestern 's campus.
Before becoming a chapter of Tri Sigma, the women were members of the Phi Upsilon social
sorority, but soon realized the advantages of chartering with a national organization. They officially became
the Alpha Zeta chapter on February 17, 1928.
In the beginning, Tri Sigma shared a two-story frame building with other Greek organizations on
campus. They each had a room that they could decorate and furnish to make their own. Finally, they were
able to purchase a lodge on campus in 1942. They now meet in their lodge on Greek Hill.
The Alpha Zeta chapter of Tri Sigma will celebrate its 75 ,h anniversary during Homecoming
activities this fall. The Natchitoches Alumni Chapter and the Alpha Zeta Collegiate Chapter will sponsor
Can you guess the names of these former Tri
Sigma officers? If so, please contact the
Office of Alumni Affairs at (318) 357-4414
or (888) 799-6486. The first five people to
call with the correct answers will win a prize!
Alumni Columns Summer 2003 / 16
nlu*h4*l \i*ljO'\*y*6faoi* UfrA^Ze
Please fill this page out as completely as possible. We are constantly revising our records and your information
updates are vital to making the system work. The information from this form is also used for entries in the
"Class Notes" section. Please make a copy of this page and give it to any NSU graduate who may not be on our
list. We can't keep in touch with you if we can't find you! Thank you.
Name: (Miss, Mrs. Mr.)_
NSU undergraduate degree(s):
NSU graduate degree(s):
.Year of graduation:.
Year of graduation:.
During which years did you attend NSU?_
Which organizations were you involved in while a student at NSU?_
Place of employment
Is your spouse an NSU graduate? Yes
If yes, what degree(s) did he / she earn?
Spouse's undergraduate degree (s)
Spouse's graduate degree (s)
.Year of graduation.
.Year of graduation.
Do you have children who are potential Northwestern students? Please tell us their names, contact information,
and what high school they attend.
Please return to: Alumni Center • Northwestern State University • Natchitoches, LA 71497
If you would like information from Admissions, Financial Aid or the NSU Athletic Association,
you can contact them at the following address:
Director of Admissions
Room 103, Roy Hall
Natchitoches, LA 71497
800-327-1903 (out of state)
Director of Financial Aid
Room 109, Roy Hall
Natchitoches, LA 71497
Natchitoches, LA 71497
Northwestern State University's Class of 1953 celebrated their Golden Jubilee as part of the university's
spring commencement. Approximately 50 members of the class had lunch and took a bus tour of the city
and before being honored at commencement where they each received a second diploma. The next day,
each member was inducted in the"'50-Plus Club," as part of the group's annual luncheon.
Northwestern State University
Natchitoches, LA 71497-0002